Saturday, April 30, 2011

Borneo Cultural Festival can be hosted by private sector

KUCHING: If political parties do not want to organise the Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) any more, the private sector should take it up, says the Sarawak Tourism Federation.

Its president Audry Wan Ullok said yesterday that the private sector could organise something similar to the recently-cancelled festival.

“Some people feel very strongly about the cancellation. For this year, there is not enough time left. By next year, however, I’m sure some in the private sector will be willing and prepared to organise it. You see, tourism is always private-sector driven, and in the first place, politics and economics should not mix. The only concern is budget constraints,” she said.

But the success of the recent Flip Flops Beach Carnival 2011 in Santubong near here was an example of the private sector’s capabilities, she added.

Although Audry expressed disappointment with the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) for scrapping the festival after the election, she said: “It is good for tourism people to get out of the mindset of government subsidies and government-initiated programmes”.

On Wednesday, SMC said the festival was cancelled because voters had rejected the Sibu Barisan Visionary Team, which comprised mostly SUPP veterans, during the 10th state polls.

“It’s a shame they feel like that,” Audry said.

On state DAP chairman and Bukit Assek assemblyman Wong Ho Leng’s proposal for the Opposition help to organise the festival, Audry said the federation would welcome help from any party.

“My personal opinion is that it really doesn’t matter (where help comes from) as long as such events help drive the local economy,” she said.

Elaborating on the SMC’s cancellation, she said the loss of the festival was more of a loss for local businesses.


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